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àilean luxury Isle of Harris cottage with fantastic sea view and sauna

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Vernon's review of àilean luxury Isle of Harris cottage Scotland
Self Catering Harris


luxury Isle of Harris cottage - sleeps 6

àilean luxury modern self catering with fantastic sea view and sauna

Beyond the lovely sandy beaches of the beautiful west coast of Harris lies the tiny, remote island of St Kilda and then nothing but mile after mile of the vast Atlantic Ocean stretching as far as Newfoundland. Here by the western edge of Harris with the most fantastic views of the coast and the sea, àilean holiday home couldn't be better placed to enjoy the beaches, the views and the wonderful sunsets over the water.

It's an easy and scenic twenty minute drive from the ferry at Tarbert, taking in some of the rocky east coast of the island before heading west across rugged hill and moorland, past glinting lochans and then south along the gentler, sand-fringed west coast. àilean is a modern purpose built holiday home so comfort, space, light and enjoyment of the fantastic views have been incorporated into the design along with a touch of luxury that makes a stay here extra special. Standing in the spacious living area watching the swell of the sea through the tall windows, it actually feels as though we're outside and not inside looking out. On a warm day, we can just slide open the glass doors and step out to enjoy the fresh sea air. If we look out at the right moment and we might spot porpoises, minke whales, otters or the resident golden eagle soaring high above the hill.

I realise as we explore the house and make loose plans for how we'll spend our time on Harris, that we could easily spend a month or two here and not exhaust the many possibilities. We're in a lovely spot in a gorgeous house, so just staying in and enjoying the comfort and luxury of the cottage seems a good idea to start with! Three spacious, comfortable bedrooms and bathrooms, a very pleasant open plan living area and a separate space for quiet relaxation mean that six people can stay here and not feel on top of each other, socialise together or have some quiet time. The infra red sauna is the icing on the cake and will be perfect for a bit of pampering in the evenings.

The sea is always a massive part of island life, especially when it comes to food. Fishing here is world class, whether it's for sea trout or wild Altlantic salmon or freshwater fishing on the loch. We can buy the freshest lobster, prawns and scallops locally and cook them here - the smart kitchen is very well equipped to make food preparation a breeze - while the local hotels and guest houses always have something interesting on the menu. From Harris there are excellent fishing trips around the island and day trips to nearby deserted islands such as Pabbay, Taransay, Ensay, Killegray, Scarp, Soay, Scotisay and the Shiants, all havens for bird and wildlife.

The ultimate boat trip has to be to St Kilda. I've hoped many times to do this crossing and finally the weather has been perfect for it - sea a millpond, still, eerie atmosphere, stunning cliffs and stacks rising up while seabirds wheel and cry. Stepping off the jetty onto this remote, dramatic land, I wonder at the harsh living that must have been made here. Lucky me, I only have to admire and marvel at the islands before going home to comfort and luxury, a warm stove and a room with a view.

Self Catering Harris

holiday cottage Scotland

luxury Isle of Harris cottage

Further details about this accommodation

Open plan living area with Morso stove, flat screen TV with Freesat +, DVD player and stereo with i-pod dock, selection of books, DVDs, CDs and games, WiFi.
Kitchen with double fan oven, 5 zone induction hob, American style fridge freezer with water and ice dispenser, dishwasher, microwave and slow cooker, a selection of herbs, vegetable and olive oil, flour, basic condiments, tea, coffee and sugar, bisto powder, foil, cling film and parchment, teatowels, dishcloths and kitchen roll, all cleaning consumables.
Utility room with washing machine, pulley and tumble-dryer, Ironing board and iron.
Outside clothes drying facilities.
Golf clubs and inclusive play at Harris Golf Club, a mile away (no play on Sunday).
King size bedroom and large bathroom with double ended bath and separate shower.

King size bedroom with en-suite shower room.
Twin bedroom with ensuite shower room.
Quiet area for reading or relaxing.
Four person Heatwave Infrared sauna.

Full under floor heating.
Central vacuum system to minimize dust circulation in the house.
Sheets, bedding and towels.
Hot water bottles.
Hand wash at all sinks.
Washing up liquid and dishwasher consumables.
Washing powder and fabric softener.
All cleaning materials.
Electricity and fuel for the stove.
Beach rug, windbreak and picnic items.
Garden furniture and barbecue.

Our top five things to do while staying at luxury Isle of Harris cottage Scotland
romantic getaway

AIlean is a wonderfully romantic place to stay, with its fantastic views, peace and seclusion and luxurious accommodation - perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic break in Scotland

good area for sailing and boat trips

Harris is excellent walking country. The west coast is interspersed with beaches and rocky coves perfect for gentle walking while the north and east parts of the island offer more challenging mountainous terrain.

good area for fishing

The fishing is world class - fish for sea trout or wild Atlantic salmon or fish the rivers and lochs. You can book a fishing trip by boat or from the land, with a number of local experts.

buildings of historic interest close by

Cycling is great on the island - the roads are quiet and very scenic and there is cycle hire on the island so you don't need to carry bikes with you.

self catering scotland good food

Many good hotel restaurants offer good local produce, especially seafood. Paircan t-Strath Guest house at Borve (2 miles) opens to non-residents off-season for wonderful cooking and a warm welcome from Lena 01859 550386. The Temple Café at Northton does fresh and healthy food, good coffee and lovely cakes with beautiful views - perfect for lunch or a coffee and open on Sunday. Go to Croft 36 at Northton for excellent croft produce, home made bread, fish and meals to eat at home. Look out for the shed!